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Headlights That Turn On Automatically


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#1 47_M450N_47

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Posted 17 June 2007 - 03:37 AM

I have a '99 Ranger and the headlights have to be turned on and off manually. Sure, this isn't a big problem for the most part, but a lot of times in well lit parking lots and highways I forget to turn the headlights on. Sometimes there are people courteous enough to flash their lights at me to remind me I need to turn them on, but usually I just end up driving around with no lights until I get to a dark patch of road. I'd like to get something like this to install so that the lights come on automatically. Have any of you guys setup a 3rd party automatic headlight system? Or does anyone know of a better system? That chip isn't very expensive (I think about 12USD) so I'm not worried so much about wasting 20 bucks; but I'm fairly concerned about messing with my truck's electrical system. I'll accept any ideas or suggestions! Thanks!

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#2 grim_d

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Posted 18 June 2007 - 04:01 AM

i used to be terrible for not putting my lights on.

If you can get yourself into the habit of putting them on everytime you get in the car, even in daylight then you will soon stop forgetting.

9 times outa 10 i turn my lights on even if the sun is shining, then i realize and turn them off.

but that's just some advice, i don't know about automatic ones..buy a volvo? laugh.gif

#3 twistedsymphony

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Posted 18 June 2007 - 04:27 PM

It all depend on how comfortable you are dealing with the electrical system.

Funny enough, my Subaru had daytime running lights and I went out of my way to GET RID OF THEM laugh.gif

I also did other electrical hacks such as hacking the hi-beam signal to allow me to use my fog lights at the same time as my high beams. hacking my side markers to blink with my blinkers, adding in some rear fog lights, replacing all of the green bulbs with blue LEDs in the gauges, HVAC, stereo, dome light, switches, etc... hacking the keyless entry system so that I could lock the doors from the fobb while the car was running (I had a turbo timer so locking while running was important) as well as hacking the keyless entry system to unlock all the doors in the car with a single button push instead of once for the driver and again for all passengers.

I'm fairly comfortable working with electrical systems though, and car electronics have a nice benefit of having fuses on everything... I've screwed up a few times... crossing the wrong wires etc. but the worst that has ever happened is a blown fuse. Of course they're always the risk of starting a fire or killing some component but on a whole it's safer to work with then most systems IMO.

as long as you've got a good wiring diagram (colors are key), pay attention, check and recheck everything you're doing... you should be fine.

#4 47_M450N_47

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Posted 19 June 2007 - 01:26 AM

Thanks, so you think that little chip will work? I've thought about replacing the lights behind my dash with LEDs (I'd probably use Blue also) but I haven't ever taken the dash completely apart so I've never really looked at that. Sounds like you can do some pretty crazy stuff with a car...wanna come to Alabama? tongue.gif

When I look at the manual thing it shows where each component goes and which way...does that mean it comes as a kit that you put together? That's not a problem, but just a small hassle. Maplin doesn't say anything about having to put it together.

#5 StrictPuppet

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Posted 19 June 2007 - 09:06 AM

Well you don't really need a kit like you have shown to do this job, nor would it work very well as the relay in that kit is only rated for 5 amps. It would be much simpler to make the lights come on whenever the key is on. A very simple way is to just use a typical 5 pin (bosch/hella) relay on the power feed wire to the headlight switch. Hook one end of the relay to the power feed, he other to the headlight switch, ground one of the relay coil wires and the other connected to an ignition switched fuse. Just leave the headlight switch turned on all the time, whenever the key is on the lights will turn on, shut the key off...headlights go off. You never need to worry about leaving your headlights on and killing your battery. There are numerous other ways to hook this up using dual relays, to be more automatic, and independent of headlight switch position.

Daytime running lights have been mandatory for Canadian automobiles for almost 10 years now, it is very likely that your USA model truck has all the required wiring for drl's its just lacking the module. That is potentially another route you could take, however the drl module is quite pricey.


This is a little OT but here is an interesting side story of the unintentional additional cost of mandatory drls.
http://auto.howstuff...question424.htm

#6 47_M450N_47

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Posted 19 June 2007 - 09:02 PM

hmmm...that is interesting about the effects of DRLs. Some US vehicles have had them for a long time (we had a '97 Chevy Blazer that had DRLs) but my '99 Ford doesn't for some reason. I don't really wanna set it up so that they are on when the key is in, it would work better than it is now but there are times when I want to be able to turn the lights off at night and keep the engine running ph34r.gif

I guess I'll just leave it the way it is. Thanks for the suggestions guys.

#7 CKwik240

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Posted 22 June 2007 - 06:10 AM

QUOTE(StrictPuppet @ Jun 19 2007, 01:42 AM) View Post

Well you don't really need a kit like you have shown to do this job, nor would it work very well as the relay in that kit is only rated for 5 amps. It would be much simpler to make the lights come on whenever the key is on. A very simple way is to just use a typical 5 pin (bosch/hella) relay on the power feed wire to the headlight switch. Hook one end of the relay to the power feed, he other to the headlight switch, ground one of the relay coil wires and the other connected to an ignition switched fuse. Just leave the headlight switch turned on all the time, whenever the key is on the lights will turn on, shut the key off...headlights go off. You never need to worry about leaving your headlights on and killing your battery. There are numerous other ways to hook this up using dual relays, to be more automatic, and independent of headlight switch position.


If you do something like this, I would highly recommend wiring in a defeat switch somewhere in case your battery ever runs a bit low. I have run into many occassions where I've been able to start my car or someone else's car with a low battery by making sure everything I can turn off is off.




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